ResearchPad - animal-studies https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Thalamic, cortical, and amygdala involvement in the processing of a natural sound cue of danger]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7872 When others stop and silence ensues, animals respond as if threatened. This study highlights the brain areas involved in listening to the dangerous silence.

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<![CDATA[Methamphetamine administration increases hepatic CYP1A2 but not CYP3A activity in female guinea pigs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7848 Methamphetamine use has increased over the past decade and the first use of methamphetamine is most often when women are of reproductive age. Methamphetamine accumulates in the liver; however, little is known about the effect of methamphetamine use on hepatic drug metabolism. Methamphetamine was administered on 3 occassions to female Dunkin Hartley guinea pigs of reproductive age, mimicking recreational drug use. Low doses of test drugs caffeine and midazolam were administered after the third dose of methamphetamine to assess the functional activity of cytochrome P450 1A2 and 3A, respectively. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction was used to quantify the mRNA expression of factors involved in glucocorticoid signalling, inflammation, oxidative stress and drug transporters. This study showed that methamphetamine administration decreased hepatic CYP1A2 mRNA expression, but increased CYP1A2 enzyme activity. Methamphetamine had no effect on CYP3A enzyme activity. In addition, we found that methamphetamine may also result in changes in glucocorticoid bioavailability, as we found a decrease in 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 1 mRNA expression, which converts inactive cortisone into active cortisol. This study has shown that methamphetamine administration has the potential to alter drug metabolism via the CYP1A2 metabolic pathway in female guinea pigs. This may have clinical implications for drug dosing in female methamphetamine users of reproductive age.

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<![CDATA[Nutritional and physicochemical characteristics of purple sweet corn juice before and after boiling]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7720 Sweet corn juice is becoming increasingly popular in China. In order to provide valuable health-related information to consumers, the nutritional and physicochemical characteristics of raw and boiled purple sweet corn juices were herein investigated. Sugars, antinutrients, total free phenols, anthocyanins, and antioxidant activity were analyzed by conventional chemical methods. The viscosity and stability of juices were determined by Ubbelohde viscosity meter and centrifugation, respectively. Boiling process could elevate viscosity, stability and sugar content, and reduce antinutrients, total free phenols, anthocyanins, and antioxidant activity in corn juice. In addition, short time boiling efficiently reduced the degradation of anthocyanins during subsequent refrigeration. The content of amino acids, vitamin B1/B2 and E were detected by High Performance Liquid Chromatography. Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry was used for the analysis of fatty acids and aroma compounds. Several aroma compounds not previously reported in corn were identified, including 1-heptanol, 2-methyl-2-butenal, (Z)-3-nonen-1-ol, 3-ethyl-2-methyl-1,3-hexadiene, and 2,4-bis(1,1-dimethylethyl)phenol. Interestingly, the boiling process had no apparent effect on the amino acids profile, but it caused a 45.8% loss of fatty acids in the juice by promoting the retention of fatty acids in the corn residue. These results provide detailed information that could be used for increasing consumers’ knowledge of sweet corn juice, further development of sweet corn juice by food producers, and maize breeding programs.

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<![CDATA[Abrogation of pathogenic attributes in drug resistant <i>Candida auris</i> strains by farnesol]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7651 Candida auris, a decade old Candida species, has been identified globally as a significant nosocomial multidrug resistant (MDR) pathogen responsible for causing invasive outbreaks. Biofilms and overexpression of efflux pumps such as Major Facilitator Superfamily and ATP Binding Cassette are known to cause multidrug resistance in Candida species, including C. auris. Therefore, targeting these factors may prove an effective approach to combat MDR in C. auris. In this study, 25 clinical isolates of C. auris from different hospitals of South Africa were used. All the isolates were found capable enough to form biofilms on 96-well flat bottom microtiter plate that was further confirmed by MTT reduction assay. In addition, these strains have active drug efflux mechanism which was supported by rhodamine-6-G extracellular efflux and intracellular accumulation assays. Antifungal susceptibility profile of all the isolates against commonly used drugs was determined following CLSI recommended guidelines. We further studied the role of farnesol, an endogenous quorum sensing molecule, in modulating development of biofilms and drug efflux in C. auris. The MIC for planktonic cells ranged from 62.5–125 mM, and for sessile cells was 125 mM (4h biofilm) and 500 mM (12h and 24h biofilm). Furthermore, farnesol (125 mM) also suppresses adherence and biofilm formation by C. auris. Farnesol inhibited biofilm formation, blocked efflux pumps and downregulated biofilm- and efflux pump- associated genes. Modulation of C. auris biofilm formation and efflux pump activity by farnesol represent a promising approach for controlling life threatening infections caused by this pathogen.

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<![CDATA[Identification of miRNA signatures associated with radiation-induced late lung injury in mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7641 Acute radiation exposure of the thorax can lead to late serious, and even life-threatening, pulmonary and cardiac damage. Sporadic in nature, late complications tend to be difficult to predict, which prompted this investigation into identifying non-invasive, tissue-specific biomarkers for the early detection of late radiation injury. Levels of circulating microRNA (miRNA) were measured in C3H and C57Bl/6 mice after whole thorax irradiation at doses yielding approximately 70% mortality in 120 or 180 days, respectively (LD70/120 or 180). Within the first two weeks after exposure, weight gain slowed compared to sham treated mice along with a temporary drop in white blood cell counts. 52% of C3H (33 of 64) and 72% of C57Bl/6 (46 of 64) irradiated mice died due to late radiation injury. Lung and heart damage, as assessed by computed tomography (CT) and histology at 150 (C3H mice) and 180 (C57Bl/6 mice) days, correlated well with the appearance of a local, miRNA signature in the lung and heart tissue of irradiated animals, consistent with inherent differences in the C3H and C57Bl/6 strains in their propensity for developing radiation-induced pneumonitis or fibrosis, respectively. Radiation-induced changes in the circulating miRNA profile were most prominent within the first 30 days after exposure and included miRNA known to regulate inflammation and fibrosis. Importantly, early changes in plasma miRNA expression predicted survival with reasonable accuracy (88–92%). The miRNA signature that predicted survival in C3H mice, including miR-34a-5p, -100-5p, and -150-5p, were associated with pro-inflammatory NF-κB-mediated signaling pathways, whereas the signature identified in C57Bl/6 mice (miR-34b-3p, -96-5p, and -802-5p) was associated with TGF-β/SMAD signaling. This study supports the hypothesis that plasma miRNA profiles could be used to identify individuals at high risk of organ-specific late radiation damage, with applications for radiation oncology clinical practice or in the context of a radiological incident.

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<![CDATA[The natural drug DIAVIT is protective in a type II mouse model of diabetic nephropathy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c92b34ad5eed0c4843a3d15

There is evidence to suggest that abnormal angiogenesis, inflammation, and fibrosis drive diabetic nephropathy (DN). However, there is no specific treatment to counteract these processes. We aimed to determine whether DIAVIT, a natural Vaccinium myrtillus (blueberry) and Hippophae Rhamnoides (sea buckthorn) extract, is protective in a model of type II DN. Diabetic db/db mice were administered DIAVIT in their drinking water for 14 weeks. We assessed the functional, structural, and ultra-structural phenotype of three experimental groups (lean+vehicle, db/db+vehicle, db/db+DIAVIT). We also investigated the angiogenic and fibrotic pathways involved in the mechanism of action of DIAVIT. Diabetic db/db mice developed hyperglycaemia, albuminuria, and an increased glomerular water permeability; the latter two were prevented by DIAVIT. db/db mice developed fibrotic glomeruli, endothelial insult, and glomerular ultra-structural changes, which were not present in DIAVIT-treated mice. Vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) splicing was altered in the db/db kidney cortex, increasing the pro-angiogenic VEGF-A165 relative to the anti-angiogenic VEGF-A165b. This was partially prevented with DIAVIT treatment. Delphinidin, an anthocyanin abundant in DIAVIT, increased the VEGF-A165b expression relative to total VEGF-A165 in cultured podocytes through phosphorylation of the splice factor SRSF6. DIAVIT, in particular delphinidin, alters VEGF-A splicing in type II DN, rescuing the DN phenotype. This study highlights the therapeutic potential of natural drugs in DN through the manipulation of gene splicing and expression.

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<![CDATA[Effect of moderate elevated intra-abdominal pressure on lung mechanics and histological lung injury at different positive end-expiratory pressures]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nccafa6f6-e83a-4af1-be67-e451f21e0145

Introduction

Intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) is a well-known phenomenon in critically ill patients. Effects of a moderately elevated intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) on lung mechanics are still not fully analyzed. Moreover, the optimal positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) in elevated IAP is unclear.

Methods

We investigated changes in lung mechanics and transformation in histological lung patterns using three different PEEP levels in eighteen deeply anesthetized pigs with an IAP of 10 mmHg. After establishing the intra-abdominal pressure, we randomized the animals into 3 groups. Each of n = 6 (Group A = PEEP 5, B = PEEP 10 and C = PEEP 15 cmH2O). End-expiratory lung volume (EELV/kg body weight (bw)), pulmonary compliance (Cstat), driving pressure (ΔP) and transpulmonary pressure (ΔPL) were measured for 6 hours. Additionally, the histological lung injury score was calculated.

Results

Comparing hours 0 and 6 in group A, there was a decrease of EELV/kg (27±2 vs. 16±1 ml/kg; p<0.05) and of Cstat (42±2 vs. 27±1 ml/cmH2O; p<0.05) and an increase of ΔP (11±0 vs. 17±1 cmH2O; p<0.05) and ΔPL (6±0 vs. 10±1 cmH2O; p<0.05). In group B, there was no significant change in EELV/kg (27±3 vs. 24±3 ml/kg), but a decrease in Cstat (42±3 vs. 32±1 ml/cmH20; p<0.05) and an increase in ΔP (11±1 vs. 15±1 cmH2O; p<0.05) and ΔPL (5±1 vs. 7±0 cmH2O; p<0.05). In group C, there were no significant changes in EELV/kg (27±2 vs. 29±3 ml/kg), ΔP (10±1 vs. 12±1 cmH2O) and ΔPL (5±1 vs. 7±1 cmH2O), but a significant decrease of Cstat (43±1 vs. 37±1 ml/cmH2O; p<0.05). Histological lung injury score was lowest in group B.

Conclusions

A moderate elevated IAP of 10 mmHg leads to relevant changes in lung mechanics during mechanical ventilation. In our study, a PEEP of 10 cmH2O was associated with a lower lung injury score and was able to overcome the IAP induced alterations of EELV.

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<![CDATA[Disruption of genes associated with Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 2 lead to common behavioural, cellular and molecular defects in Caenorhabditis elegans]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N5d50b5cf-e057-490e-9c44-60569e9f28d4

Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease is an inherited peripheral motor and sensory neuropathy. The disease is divided into demyelinating (CMT1) and axonal (CMT2) neuropathies, and although we have gained molecular information into the details of CMT1 pathology, much less is known about CMT2. Due to its clinical and genetic heterogeneity, coupled with a lack of animal models, common underlying mechanisms remain elusive. In order to gain an understanding of the normal function of genes associated with CMT2, and to draw direct comparisons between them, we have studied the behavioural, cellular and molecular consequences of mutating nine different genes in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (lin-41/TRIM2, dyn-1/DNM2, unc-116/KIF5A, fzo-1/MFN2, osm-9/TRPV4, cua-1/ATP7A, hsp-25/HSPB1, hint-1/HINT1, nep-2/MME). We show that C. elegans defective for these genes display debilitated movement in crawling and swimming assays. Severe morphological defects in cholinergic motors neurons are also evident in two of the mutants (dyn-1 and unc-116). Furthermore, we establish methods for quantifying muscle morphology and use these to demonstrate that loss of muscle structure occurs in the majority of mutants studied. Finally, using electrophysiological recordings of neuromuscular junction (NMJ) activity, we uncover reductions in spontaneous postsynaptic current frequency in lin-41, dyn-1, unc-116 and fzo-1 mutants. By comparing the consequences of mutating numerous CMT2-related genes, this study reveals common deficits in muscle structure and function, as well as NMJ signalling when these genes are disrupted.

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<![CDATA[Dysregulated biodynamics in metabolic attractor systems precede the emergence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nd64c8bc4-d849-4cf6-88a9-792b4ee4d346

Evolutionarily conserved mechanisms maintain homeostasis of essential elements, and are believed to be highly time-variant. However, current approaches measure elemental biomarkers at a few discrete time-points, ignoring complex higher-order dynamical features. To study dynamical properties of elemental homeostasis, we apply laser ablation inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) to tooth samples to generate 500 temporally sequential measurements of elemental concentrations from birth to 10 years. We applied dynamical system and Information Theory-based analyses to reveal the longest-known attractor system in mammalian biology underlying the metabolism of nutrient elements, and identify distinct and consistent transitions between stable and unstable states throughout development. Extending these dynamical features to disease prediction, we find that attractor topography of nutrient metabolism is altered in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), as early as childhood, suggesting these pathways are involved in disease risk. Mechanistic analysis was undertaken in a transgenic mouse model of ALS, where we find similar marked disruptions in elemental attractor systems as in humans. Our results demonstrate the application of a phenomological analysis of dynamical systems underlying elemental metabolism, and emphasize the utility of these measures in characterizing risk of disease.

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<![CDATA[Neuroprotective effects of exogenous erythropoietin in Wistar rats by downregulating apoptotic factors to attenuate N-methyl-D-aspartate-mediated retinal ganglion cells death]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N85685bba-c047-422b-abfc-358a98ed1fe7

The aim of this study was to investigate whether exogenous erythropoietin (EPO) administration attenuates N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-mediated excitotoxic retinal damage in Wistar rats. The survival rate of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) were investigated by flat mount analysis and flow cytometry. A total of 125 male Wistar rats were randomly assigned to five groups: negative control, NMDA80 (i.e., 80 nmoles NMDA intravitreally injected), NMDA80 + 10ng EPO, NMDA80 + 50ng EPO, and NMDA80 + 250ng EPO. The NMDA80 + 50ng EPO treatment group was used to evaluate various administrated points (pre-/co-/post- administration of NMDA80). Meanwhile, the transferase dUTP Nick-End Labeling (TUNEL) assay of RGCs, the inner plexiform layer (IPL) thickness and the apoptotic signal transduction pathways of μ-calpain, Bax, and caspase 9 were assessed simultaneously using an immunohistochemical method (IHC). When EPO was co-administered with NMDA80, attenuated cell death occurred through the downregulation of the apoptotic indicators: μ-calpain was activated first (peak at ~18hrs), followed by Bax and caspase 9 (peak at ~40hrs). Furthermore, the images of retinal cross sections have clearly demonstrated that thickness of the inner plexiform layer (IPL) was significantly recovered at 40 hours after receiving intravitreal injection with NMDA80 and 50ng EPO. Exogenous EPO may protect RGCs and bipolar cell axon terminals in IPL by downregulating apoptotic factors to attenuate NMDA-mediated excitotoxic retinal damage.

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<![CDATA[Role of MPK4 in pathogen-associated molecular pattern-triggered alternative splicing in Arabidopsis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N4009e20f-330a-49f1-8a3f-309ba227a41c

Alternative splicing (AS) of pre-mRNAs in plants is an important mechanism of gene regulation in environmental stress tolerance but plant signals involved are essentially unknown. Pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP)-triggered immunity (PTI) is mediated by mitogen-activated protein kinases and the majority of PTI defense genes are regulated by MPK3, MPK4 and MPK6. These responses have been mainly analyzed at the transcriptional level, however many splicing factors are direct targets of MAPKs. Here, we studied alternative splicing induced by the PAMP flagellin in Arabidopsis. We identified 506 PAMP-induced differentially alternatively spliced (DAS) genes. Importantly, of the 506 PAMP-induced DAS genes, only 89 overlap with the set of 1950 PAMP-induced differentially expressed genes (DEG), indicating that transcriptome analysis does not identify most DAS events. Global DAS analysis of mpk3, mpk4, and mpk6 mutants in the absence of PAMP treatment showed no major splicing changes. However, in contrast to MPK3 and MPK6, MPK4 was found to be a key regulator of PAMP-induced DAS events as the AS of a number of splicing factors and immunity-related protein kinases is affected, such as the calcium-dependent protein kinase CPK28, the cysteine-rich receptor like kinases CRK13 and CRK29 or the FLS2 co-receptor SERK4/BKK1. Although MPK4 is guarded by SUMM2 and consequently, the mpk4 dwarf and DEG phenotypes are suppressed in mpk4 summ2 mutants, MPK4-dependent DAS is not suppressed by SUMM2, supporting the notion that PAMP-triggered MPK4 activation mediates regulation of alternative splicing.

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<![CDATA[Perceived socio-economic impacts of the marbled crayfish invasion in Madagascar]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N7a6c5db8-4016-4d26-87a6-87422e70e8c1

The negative environmental and economic impacts of many invasive species are well known. However, given the increased homogenization of global biota, and the difficulty of eradicating species once established, a balanced approach to considering the impacts of invasive species is needed. The marbled crayfish (Procambarus virginalis) is a parthenogenetic freshwater crayfish that was first observed in Madagascar around 2005 and has spread rapidly. We present the results of a socio-economic survey (n = 385) in three regions of Madagascar that vary in terms of when the marbled crayfish first arrived. Respondents generally considered marbled crayfish to have a negative impact on rice agriculture and fishing, however the animals were seen as making a positive contribution to household economy and food security. Regression modeling showed that respondents in regions with longer experience of marbled crayfish have more positive perceptions. Unsurprisingly, considering the perception that crayfish negatively impact rice agriculture, those not involved in crayfish harvesting and trading had more negative views towards the crayfish than those involved in crayfish-related activities. Food preference ranking and market surveys revealed the acceptance of marbled crayfish as a cheap source of animal protein; a clear positive in a country with widespread malnutrition. While data on biodiversity impacts of the marbled crayfish invasion in Madagascar are still completely lacking, this study provides insight into the socio-economic impacts of the dramatic spread of this unique invasive species. Biby kely tsy fantam-piaviana, mahavelona fianakaviana” (a small animal coming from who knows where which supports the needs of the family). Government worker Analamanga, Madagascar.

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<![CDATA[First description of a herpesvirus infection in genus Lepus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N2b9a02c7-7220-4716-8700-9456c07e4236

During the necropsies of Iberian hares obtained in 2018/2019, along with signs of the nodular form of myxomatosis, other unexpected external lesions were also observed. Histopathology revealed nuclear inclusion bodies in stromal cells suggesting the additional presence of a nuclear replicating virus. Transmission electron microscopy further demonstrated the presence of herpesvirus particles in the tissues of affected hares. We confirmed the presence of herpesvirus in 13 MYXV-positive hares by PCR and sequencing analysis. Herpesvirus-DNA was also detected in seven healthy hares, suggesting its asymptomatic circulation. Phylogenetic analysis based on concatenated partial sequences of DNA polymerase gene and glycoprotein B gene enabled greater resolution than analysing the sequences individually. The hare’ virus was classified close to herpesviruses from rodents within the Rhadinovirus genus of the gammaherpesvirus subfamily. We propose to name this new virus Leporid gammaherpesvirus 5 (LeHV-5), according to the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses standards. The impact of herpesvirus infection on the reproduction and mortality of the Iberian hare is yet unknown but may aggravate the decline of wild populations caused by the recently emerged natural recombinant myxoma virus.

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<![CDATA[Identification and expression analysis of miRNAs and elucidation of their role in salt tolerance in rice varieties susceptible and tolerant to salinity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N52f944dc-26d8-4e67-9222-1bf646d955e0

Soil salinization is a serious problem for cultivation of rice, as among cereals rice is the most salt sensitive crop, and more than 40% of the total agricultural land amounting to approximately 80 million ha the world over is salt affected. Salinity affects a plant in a varieties of ways, including ion toxicity, osmotic stress and oxidative damage. Since miRNAs occupy the top place in biochemical events determining a trait, understanding their role in salt tolerance is highly desirable, which may allow introduction of the trait in the rice cultivars of choice through biotechnological interventions. High throughput sequencing of sRNAs in the root and shoot tissues of the seedlings of the control and NaCl treated Pokkali, a salt-tolerant rice variety, identified 75 conserved miRNAs and mapped 200 sRNAs to the rice genome as novel miRNAs. Expression of nine novel miRNAs and two conserved miRNAs were confirmed by Northern blotting. Several of both conserved and novel miRNAs that expressed differentially in root and/or shoot tissues targeted transcription factors like AP2/EREBP domain protein, ARF, NAC, MYB, NF-YA, HD-Zip III, TCP and SBP reported to be involved in salt tolerance or in abiotic stress tolerance in general. Most of the novel miRNAs expressed in the salt tolerant wild rice Oryza coarctata, suggesting conservation of miRNAs in taxonomically related species. One of the novel miRNAs, osa-miR12477, also targeted L-ascorbate oxidase (LAO), indicating build-up of oxidative stress in the plant upon salt treatment, which was confirmed by DAB staining. Thus, salt tolerance might involve miRNA-mediated regulation of 1) cellular abundance of the hormone signaling components like EREBP and ARF, 2) synthesis of abiotic stress related transcription factors, and 3) antioxidative component like LAO for mitigation of oxidative damage. The study clearly indicated importance of osa-miR12477 regulated expression of LAO in salt tolerance in the plant.

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<![CDATA[Reduction of osteoarthritis severity in the temporomandibular joint of rabbits treated with chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N10336f10-2066-4958-9182-9e228dac929f

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that causes substantial changes in joint tissues, such as cartilage degeneration and subchondral bone sclerosis. Chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine are commonly used products for the symptomatic treatment of osteoarthritis. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of these products when used as structure-modifying drugs on the progression of osteoarthritis in the rabbit temporomandibular joint. Thirty-six New Zealand rabbits were divided into 3 groups (n = 12/group): control (no disease); osteoarthritis (disease induction); and treatment (disease induction and administration of chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine). Osteoarthritis was induced by intra-articular injection of monosodium iodoacetate. Animals were killed at 30 and 90 days after initiation of therapy. The treatment was effective in reducing disease severity, with late effects and changes in the concentration of glycosaminoglycans in the articular disc. The results indicate that chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine may have a structure-modifying effect on the tissues of rabbit temporomandibular joints altered by osteoarthritis.

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<![CDATA[The inhibitor of apoptosis proteins antagonist Debio 1143 promotes the PD-1 blockade-mediated HIV load reduction in blood and tissues of humanized mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N65563527-6ce7-4ff1-862d-df2c817374ce

The immune checkpoint programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) plays a major role in T cell exhaustion in cancer and chronic HIV infection. The inhibitor of apoptosis protein antagonist Debio 1143 (D1143) enhances tumor cell death and synergizes with anti-PD-1 agents to promote tumor immunity and displayed HIV latency reversal activity in vitro. We asked in this study whether D1143 would stimulate the potency of an anti-human PD-1 monoclonal antibody (mAb) to reduce HIV loads in humanized mice. Anti-PD-1 mAb treatment decreased PD-1+ CD8+ cell population by 32.3% after interruption of four weeks treatment, and D1143 co-treatment further reduced it from 32.3 to 73%. Anti-PD-1 mAb administration reduced HIV load in blood by 94%, and addition of D1143 further enhanced this reduction from 94 to 97%. D1143 also more profoundly promoted with the anti-PD-1-mediated reduction of HIV loads in all tissues analyzed including spleen (71 to 96.4%), lymph nodes (64.3 to 80%), liver (64.2 to 94.4), lung (64.3 to 80.1%) and thymic organoid (78.2 to 98.2%), achieving a >5 log reduction of HIV loads in CD4+ cells isolated from tissues 2 weeks after drug treatment interruption. Ex vivo anti-CD3/CD28 stimulation increased the ability to activate exhausted CD8+ T cells in infected mice having received in vivo anti-PD-1 treatment by 7.9-fold (5 to 39.6%), and an additional increase by 1.7-fold upon D1143 co-treatment (39.6 to 67.3%). These findings demonstrate for the first time that an inhibitor of apoptosis protein antagonist enhances in a statistically manner the effects of an immune check point inhibitor on antiviral immunity and on HIV load reduction in tissues of humanized mice, suggesting that the combination of two distinct classes of immunomodulatory agents constitutes a promising anti-HIV immunotherapeutic approach.

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<![CDATA[Functional dynamics of bacterial species in the mouse gut microbiome revealed by metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N74c1e0c6-8f1d-4282-af8e-273065d64236

Background

Microbial communities of the mouse gut have been extensively studied; however, their functional roles and regulation are yet to be elucidated. Metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses may allow us a comprehensive profiling of bacterial composition and functions of the complex gut microbiota. The present study aimed to investigate the active functions of the microbial communities in the murine cecum by analyzing both metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data on specific bacterial species within the microbial communities, in addition to the whole microbiome.

Results

Bacterial composition of the healthy mouse gut microbiome was profiled using the following three different approaches: 16S rRNA-based profiling based on amplicon and shotgun sequencing data, and genome-based profiling based on shotgun sequencing data. Consistently, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, and Deferribacteres emerged as the major phyla. Based on NCBI taxonomy, Muribaculaceae, Lachnospiraceae, and Deferribacteraceae were the predominant families identified in each phylum. The genes for carbohydrate metabolism were upregulated in Muribaculaceae, while genes for cofactors and vitamin metabolism and amino acid metabolism were upregulated in Deferribacteraceae. The genes for translation were commonly enhanced in all three families. Notably, combined analysis of metagenomic and metatranscriptomic sequencing data revealed that the functions of translation and metabolism were largely upregulated in all three families in the mouse gut environment. The ratio of the genes in the metagenome and their expression in the metatranscriptome indicated higher expression of carbohydrate metabolism in Muribaculum, Duncaniella, and Mucispirillum.

Conclusions

We demonstrated a fundamental methodology for linking genomic and transcriptomic datasets to examine functional activities of specific bacterial species in a complicated microbial environment. We investigated the normal flora of the mouse gut using three different approaches and identified Muribaculaceae, Lachnospiraceae, and Deferribacteraceae as the predominant families. The functional distribution of these families was reflected in the entire microbiome. By comparing the metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data, we found that the expression rates differed for different functional categories in the mouse gut environment. Application of these methods to track microbial transcription in individuals over time, or before and after administration of a specific stimulus will significantly facilitate future development of diagnostics and treatments.

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<![CDATA[Mutations on ent-kaurene oxidase 1 encoding gene attenuate its enzyme activity of catalyzing the reaction from ent-kaurene to ent-kaurenoic acid and lead to delayed germination in rice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N3fbe67d9-408b-4f07-a6d8-c659dfb628bd

Rice seed germination is a critical step that determines its entire life circle, with seeds failing to germinate or pre-harvest sprouting both reduce grain yield. Nevertheless, the mechanisms underlying this complex biological event remain unclear. Previously, gibberellin has been shown to promote seed germination. In this study, a delayed seed germination rice mutant was obtained through screening of the EMS induced mutants. Besides of delayed germination, it also shows semi-dwarfism phenotype, which could be recovered by exogenous GA. Through re-sequencing on the mutant, wild-type and their F2 populations, we identified two continuous mutated sites on ent-kaurene oxidase 1 (OsKO1) gene, which result in the conversion from Thr to Met in the cytochrome P450 domain. Genetic complementary analysis and enzyme assay verified that the mutations in OsKO1 gene block the biosynthesis of GA and result in the defect phenotypes. Further analyses proved that OsKO1 could catalyze the reaction from ent-kaurene into ent-kaurenoic acid in GA biosynthesis mainly at seed germination and seedling stages, and the mutations decrease its activity to catalyze the step from ent-kaurenol to ent-kaurenoic acid in this reaction. Transcriptomic and proteomic data indicate that the defect on GA biosynthesis decreases its ability to mobilize starch and attenuate ABA signaling, therefore delay the germination process. The results provide some new insights into both GA biosynthesis and seed germination regulatory pathway in rice.

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<![CDATA[Accelerated brain aging towards transcriptional inversion in a zebrafish model of the K115fs mutation of human PSEN2]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N35618ab8-cca5-47c4-ba7f-8d3941adbaaf

Background

The molecular changes involved in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) progression remain unclear since we cannot easily access antemortem human brains. Some non-mammalian vertebrates such as the zebrafish preserve AD-relevant transcript isoforms of the PRESENILIN genes lost from mice and rats. One example is PS2V, the alternative transcript isoform of the PSEN2 gene. PS2V is induced by hypoxia/oxidative stress and shows increased expression in late onset, sporadic AD brains. A unique, early onset familial AD mutation of PSEN2, K115fs, mimics the PS2V coding sequence suggesting that forced, early expression of PS2V-like isoforms may contribute to AD pathogenesis. Here we use zebrafish to model the K115fs mutation to investigate the effects of forced PS2V-like expression on the transcriptomes of young adult and aged adult brains.

Methods

We edited the zebrafish genome to model the K115fs mutation. To explore its effects at the molecular level, we analysed the brain transcriptome and proteome of young (6-month-old) and aged (24-month-old) wild type and heterozygous mutant female sibling zebrafish. Finally, we used gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) to compare molecular changes in the brains of these fish to human AD.

Results

Young heterozygous mutant fish show transcriptional changes suggesting accelerated brain aging and increased glucocorticoid signalling. These early changes precede a transcriptional ‘inversion’ that leads to glucocorticoid resistance and other likely pathological changes in aged heterozygous mutant fish. Notably, microglia-associated immune responses regulated by the ETS transcription factor family are altered in both our zebrafish mutant model and in human AD. The molecular changes we observe in aged heterozygous mutant fish occur without obvious histopathology and possibly in the absence of Aβ.

Conclusions

Our results suggest that forced expression of a PS2V-like isoform contributes to immune and stress responses favouring AD pathogenesis. This highlights the value of our zebrafish genetic model for exploring molecular mechanisms involved in AD pathogenesis.

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<![CDATA[Evaluation of liposomal ciprofloxacin formulations in a murine model of anthrax]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ne17111d7-5152-4c88-81b1-0e84a1b58e42

The in vivo efficacy of liposomal encapsulated ciprofloxacin in two formulations, lipoquin and apulmiq, were evaluated against the causative agent of anthrax, Bacillus anthracis. Liposomal encapsulated ciprofloxacin is attractive as a therapy since it allows for once daily dosing and achieves higher concentrations of the antibiotic at the site of initial mucosal entry but lower systemic drug concentrations. The in vivo efficacy of lipoquin and apulmiq delivered by intranasal instillation was studied at different doses and schedules in both a post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) therapy model and in a delayed treatment model of murine inhalational anthrax. In the mouse model of infection, the survival curves for all treatment cohorts differed significantly from the vehicle control. Ciprofloxacin, lipoquin and apulmiq provided a high level of protection (87–90%) after 7 days of therapy when administered within 24 hours of exposure. Reducing therapy to only three days still provided protection of 60–87%, if therapy was provided within 24 hours of exposure. If treatment was initiated 48 hours after exposure the survival rate was reduced to 46–65%. These studies suggest that lipoquin and apulmiq may be attractive therapies as PEP and as part of a treatment cocktail for B. anthracis.

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